AUBURN – Twin Cities Mayors Lionel C. Guay Jr. and Normand W. Guay will speak at the second annual Lewiston-Auburn Tax Credit Awareness Coalition recognition banquet on Thursday, April 7, highlighting the fact that the coalition’s two-year efforts have put $1,039,531 into the pockets of local families, boosting the Lewiston-Auburn economy.

The coalition has advocated awareness for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit since the group’s formation in the spring of 2003. As a result, more residents are now aware of the benefit’s availability, and IRS-trained volunteers have provided free tax preparation at locally established sites.

This year, free tax preparation was offered from Jan. 25 through March 12, and 387 returns were e-filed.

Since the coalition’s inception, numerous community partners, including the Twin Cities and the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce, have supported the initiative. The federal tax credit is designed to reduce the tax burden for low and moderate income workers, supplement their wages and assist with the welfare to work transition.

Lewiston Council President Renee Bernier, Councilor Lillian LaFontaine O’Brien and Councilor Ronald Jean also will be at the banquet continuing their support of the EITC effort. In June of 2003, the three councilors met with Boston EITC representatives gathering information that proved helpful to the Lewiston-Auburn coalition’s effort.

In addition to IRS-trained volunteers, asset-building partners and sponsor Annie E. Casey Foundation representatives, Auburn City Councilor Robert Hayes and Sarah McCarthy, Sen. Susan Collins’ state office representative, will attend the banquet at Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner St.

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